Anti-B cell monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) developed byImmunotech S.A. of France are safe and show some efficacy inthe treatment of B cell lymphoproliferative syndrome, anarticle in last week's New England Journal of Medicinereported.

B cell proliferation syndrome occurs infrequently after organand bone marrow transplants. Immunocompromised patientsproduce excessive quantities of B cell-type white blood cells.The disease symptoms range from mononucleosis to lymphomaand death.

French researchers, led by Immunotech's Michel Hirn, testedtwo of the company's MAbs for their abilities to reduce thenumber of B cells in patients severely affected by the disease.Ten of 26 patients have been in complete remission forbetween eight and 60 months, depending on when theyentered the study.

Other companies developing MAb-based B cell lymphomatherapies include Idec Pharmaceuticals Corp., Immunogen Inc.and Immunomedics Inc.

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